Beat the Lockdown 3.0 Blues!

Welcome back to the first blog of 2021! I hope you’re feeling refreshed after the Christmas break, and that your week got off to a positive start. On Sunday night I pictured myself getting up nice and early, ready for the first Monday of 2021. I was genuinely looking forward to reinstating a bit of a routine to my day once again, and begin working on some of the things I wanted to achieve this year. However the reality of my first working day of 2021 saw me wake up 90 minutes later than planned (oops)…

A very accurate representation of what my morning looked like

Alas, I didn’t allow this to set the tone to the rest of my day. Instead I rewrote the narrative and thought just how rested I was feeling, and how grateful I was that there was no commute to rush for. We all know that a New Year doesn’t magically change our reality and I am definitely not one to proclaim, “New Year, New Me”. However, I love the optimism that the New Year presents itself with. But if you’re struggling with a bit of motivation today (especially after last night’s lockdown 3.0 announcement), here are a few of my posts I wrote in 2020 to send some positivity your way.

If you are feeling a bit blue and struggling to feel optimistic, read my post – Appreciating The Little Things

Maybe you are on the 2021 hype and want to be more efficient with your day and get organized, read my post – Get More Time Back In Your Day

Looking for a a bit of inspiration for self-care? Read my post – 5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

A New Year means a new series to watch, but if you missed some of my top picks in lockdown 2.0 for 2020 which are classics, read my post – TV Shows to Binge in Lockdown

If you’re on a health kick post Christmas, have a read of my post – 5 Smoothie Recipes To Try Now

It may be the new year but don’t let that dampen your dreams of a holiday this year. To see how I spent my week off at home, read my post –2020, A New Meaning to Staycation

And finally, if the prospect of working remotely for a bit longer is getting you down, read my post –Working From Home Tips | Mental Health Awareness Week

Sending big hugs to you all and wishing you a positive week ahead – you got this.

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

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Lessons in My 20’s

3 Key Concepts For Relaxation

A Year in Review | 2020

Comparing My Favourite Purple Shampoos

A Year in Review | 2020

During a post-Christmas clean, I found a journal entry I wrote on 1st January. Incidentally this was the only entry I made all year, but looking back I started the year out filled with a lot of hope and ambition for 2020. Reading it made me realize just how much growth I have had in many areas of my life. The global pandemic has certainly brought some challenging and depressing days, but there have also been some wonderful moments this year that I want to remember. So before 2020 is over, here are just some of my highlights from this incredibly strange year:

  • I attended my auntie’s wedding right at the beginning of January and who knew that would be my first and last big social event for the year?! The day was filled with carefree dancing, toasting, laughing, hugging, and all without wearing a mask or obeying any rules of six…

  • This year the U.K. has really enjoyed some glorious weather, which I really appreciated particularly throughout the first lockdown. This meant there were lots of walks (often twice a day!), as well as days filled with various kinds of outside exercise or sunbathing with a glass of cold Pimms.

  • Being at home and having a lot more time back in my day, meant it was the perfect opportunity for more blogging, with this post being number 58 of this year! I pushed myself with writing challenges and also concentrated more on uploading videos to my YouTube channel. Overall this has resulted in more traffic with readers/viewers from different parts of the world – thank you! I can’t wait to continue creating next year.

  • There wasn’t a homemade sourdough in sight on my end, but I did get some baking in here and there. My new favourite discovery was a Sangria cake I baked for my Mum’s birthday – so easy and delicious! I also tried cooking some new recipes which emphasized how much I love trying new things. I am excited to do more of this in 2021 too!

  • I was devastated when my Summer flights to America were cancelled as I planned on going to Chicago for the first time, as well as attending my brother’s wedding! However we all still celebrated virtually via a live stream, complete with video calls for speeches and toasts. My family and I made the effort to dress up and we also decorated the house, the garden and the table. I even cooked a slightly elaborate meal! Overall, it was a bittersweet but a memorable and special day.

  • Despite all the challenges working from home, I am super proud of my progression in my 9-5 job and the impact I have had this year. I am giving myself a huge pat on the back well done… something we all need to do now and again!

  • Living an active lifestyle was my main goal for 2020. At the start of the year I was focused on getting beyond the 8 week mark of regular exercise (before I typically lost interest). From HIIT, running, pilates, hikes, walks, online classes and various other videos and IGTV’s, I’ve LOVED every moment of it. I am feeling stronger both mentally and physically, with my relationship and attitude towards exercise being completely transformed. Here’s to health in 2021!

  • Finding out I would be an auntie for the first time has also been a highlight for this year. Roll on early 2021 where I get to meet (virtually but hopefully physically soon) my little niece.

  • Becoming a dog auntie to the wonderful @cosmoandsherlockadventures has brought me so much joy and firmly helped me get over my fear of dogs! I am now one of those people who would coo at a dog rather than run away from it, haha!

  • In a way I am hugely grateful to 2020 as it meant I was able to save money faster and led me to buying my first home with my boyfriend. I am so excited to move in January 2021 and begin a new and exciting chapter of my life!

This year may not have always gone to plan, but 2020 has helped me be thankful for what I do have and enjoy the small moments along the way. Whatever way you are ringing in the New Year, I wish you a wonderful , happy, healthy and safe year ahead, filled with lots of positivity and light. Let’s hope 2021 will be filled with more times seeing our loved ones and squeezing them tight once again.

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about to not miss out!

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

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You may also enjoy:

Lessons in My 20’s

3 Key Concepts For Relaxation

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Overcoming My Fears

Comparing My Favourite Purple Shampoos

Get More Time Back In Your Day

There’s Still Time For Us Yet…

At the beginning of this year I was filled with so much ambition, optimism and a sense of adventure. After hearing great things about vision boards, I decided it would be the first year I would make one for myself. At first, I began to sprawl many ideas across the page. Some were overly ambitious goals and some were simple ideas. I also noted down things I wanted to try and places I wanted to go. Of course, any new experiences and travel destinations were pushed aside for obvious reasons, but there are still a few things I have managed to achieve, and some that I am yet to start…

Having spent 3 months of this year in lockdown, and 6 months of it living in a socially distanced way that no one could have anticipated, I have had the opportunity to hone in on what kind of life I want to live. It’s allowed me to regularly reassess my vision board and which areas of my life I want to explore and develop. I’d recommend you to leave some space on your vision board, so you can add to it throughout the year for this specific reason. Along the way, I’ve learned that my motivation stems mostly from me being goal-orientated, and achieving those goals requires making intentional and conscious actions repeatedly. One example on my vision board for 2020 included “to live an active lifestyle“. There were a few points this year where it felt a bit too much effort, but I reminded myself that consistent actions will eventually form new habits, and in turn would help me to reach my goal. I would also ask myself, “How would I feel at the start of 2021 knowing that I now prioritize my health and fitness?” That question has stuck with me and helped keep me focused.

With only 5 weeks to go of 2020 I thought it would be a good time to revisit my vision board again, and get thinking about what I want from the year ahead. In case you are interested in doing the same, here are a few questions to get the ball rolling for your vision board:

  • Where do I envision myself one year from now?
  • How do I want to feel about…?
  • What things do I want to achieve?
  • What actions will I need to take to get there?
  • What one word will I choose to help define the year ahead I want/ need?

If you’re naturally arty, creating your vision board will be a really fun activity, but if like me, your creativity is blessed in other ways – don’t worry! Focus more on the content of your board, instead of it’s aesthetics. I’d also recommend you to add some goals which aren’t just material based. This will be a lot more satisfying and you’ll notice a lot of personal growth! Remember, we may be knocking on December’s door, but there is still some time left this year to get started. Do not wish the year away, when so much more can still come from it!

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about. Remember there will also be more content coming your way Monday – Friday throughout lockdown, so don’t miss out!

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

You may also enjoy:

Overcoming My Fears

Opening Up | How I REALLY Feel

That Salon Hair Feeling!

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5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

Short Story

Tuesday 31st December 2019

8:17 PM

Kat was struggling to get into her Union Jack dress. She had just about managed to squeeze it over her shoulders but it had got stuck over her boobs, the more she wriggled the more she was convinced that any moment now she would hear a rip. “Just glide into it, nice and easy, like a caterpillar…” she told herself. She decided to take the dress off and start again. Maybe she could step into it? Nope that wasn’t going to work she thought. Now she was getting hot and flustered and started to panic. Taking a large gulp of her prosecco she instantly calmed down and went for round three. Arms up in the air and shimmy it down – that was the plan Kat decided on. The way her arms were up in the air resembled something more like one of those inflatable tube guys that move in the wind. The ones she had seen outside a DIY store. She began to wiggle her hips and made the noise she imagined it would make. It was something along the lines of a spooky ghost mixed with a grandmother hearing something vulgar, “Ooo-ooo!!”. Now this really made her chuckle. Gosh, why was this dress so much tighter than she remembered it to be? Kat had only worn it that Summer when she went to Glastonbury Festival and remembered feeling quite smug about how good she felt in it. A more prudent question was why did her housemate Olivia have to be so adamant that their New Year’s Eve party would be 90’s themed? Everyone else was going for the standard 1920’s theme considering they were entering the roaring 20’s. Because it was “unoriginal” that’s why, she heard Olivia’s voice say in her head. To be honest, Kat was slightly relieved she could recycle this costume rather than fork out for another outfit. Plus she knew the one she wanted would’ve easily set her back 100 quid.

8:19pm

One deep breath in and one last pull and Kat got it down. Hurrah, she rejoiced! Next thing she knew, Kat could suddenly breathe. Oh wait – that wasn’t a good sign was it? That meant she had now actually ripped it. Kat let out a groan and cursed the last Terry’s Chocolate Orange she had eaten.

“I don’t think it’s Terry’s fault” said a female voice muffling a laugh.

Ah! Sofia had come to her rescue, her kind friend pointed at the zip of the dress she had undone. She then handed Kat her badly made ginger wig and sat on the edge of Kat’s bed, popping open another bottle of prosecco.
“Thanks for that, Sof.” Kat gratefully replied, now moving closer to the mirror to carefully inspect every lump and bump on display. Damn it! So there was evidence of the 52 mince pies she had indulged in over Christmas. Ah well! She helped herself to an After Eight that was on the side. Kat could worry about that in the new year.

As much as she had protested that 2018 was her last year of the fancy dress New Years Eve party, obviously that plan had fallen through. Kat had been convinced that 2019 was the year she would be owning her first flat. But Kat was passed on being promoted at work and her company didn’t pay out bonus this year either, which meant that she was quite a bit short of her deposit. Well it was really the astronomical London rent, combined with weekends spent on brunches and clubbing, Glasto tickets and a girls holiday to Ibiza, which didn’t really help either. So in October Kat made the executive decision that 2020 would be her year. Yes, she would finally take the plunge and buy her first property. However in order to do so, it meant moving back home for a few months back to her parents home. She hadn’t lived at home since the Summer she graduated from uni. Choosing to live in the city with friends instead, discovering her own corner of London. Naturally her housemates were sad she would be moving out, however Kat was adamant that she would not let her social life take too much of a hit in 2020. She just had to be away from all of the temptation and needed to count her pennies. She needed to stop with all the spontaneous nights out so that by the Summer she would be in a brand new flat that was all hers.

Secretly Kat was quite excited about the prospect of moving home for the short term. She was now 26 and the only girl in the family; an older sister to her two younger brothers, but like her they had both moved out so that meant all the attention would be on her. She would be spending so much quality time with her parents and they would be doting on her left, right and centre. It would be like Christmas for a few months, Kat had convinced herself. She was sure that they were very excited about their little cherub moving back for a few months. It was like the story of the prodigal son returning home, except she hadn’t squandered her inheritance – instead she had been robbed by the London lifestyle (despite enjoying every moment of it). She just hoped that her Dad had forgotten about her getting too drunk at Christmas and when she told him what she really thought of his overcooked turkey. A week had nearly passed, he must have forgotten all about that by now, she reassured herself.

Kat was sad to leave her flat. She loved her housemates, they were sweet as could be, but truth be told she had enough of the cleaning rota Olivia had implemented. Olivia was very ambitious, organised and definitely the Mumma bear of the house. They had been friends since her first temp job out of uni, but now Kat was ready to be out in the world on her own. She planned to learn to cook, particularly meals that didn’t include ketchup as a main ingredient as she so often relied on. She planned to buy a place nearer to her parents and the country side but still with good transport links to commute into work. Hers would be a haven in contrast to the busy London city life. She turned to see Sofia staring at her, as if waiting for a response. Oh crap, she had zoned out and wasn’t listening to a word Sofia had said since prosecco.

“You look stunning by the way Sof, when’s Leo getting here, eh?” Kat winked at Sofia whilst readjusting her Ginger spice wig, hoping her blatant rudeness would be looked over.

“Never.” Sofia huffed.

Damn. There it was. The Latin fire that came out every so often from Sofia. The look on Sofia’s face said enough.

Kat had completely put her foot in it. Sofia was meant to be doing a couples costume with her now ex- boyfriend and had dressed as Rose from Titanic. Her natural olive complexion really complimented the red curly wig. Oh crap really, why did she say that? Kat regretted. Sofia had been heartbroken all Christmas. Her relationship pretty much came to an end at the start of the month when he had left her a voice note addressed to an Arabella, whom he seemed very excited to be spending Christmas with.

“He was just a bloody discount Hugh Grant if you ask me! Good riddance. You’ll have plenty of Leo’s lining up tonight.” She topped up Sofia’s glass and hoped this would help dig her out of the hole she had made. It seemed it did. She knew that Hugh Grant quip would make her smile.

“Hey girls! Can you put on the New Years playlist on please? People will be here soon!” Olivia called. She poked her head around Kat’s bedroom door stirring some homemade guacamole and had a big smile on her face. Olivia had dressed up as Cher from Clueless and of course nailed it.

“Ay ay captain!” Kat stomped her foot lightly on the ground and raised her hand to her head in salute before quickly looking down to check if her dress had split. So far, so good.

9:45PM

The house was buzzing, drinks were flowing and Kat had entered into an intense game of beer pong vs Johnny Bravo, Ace Ventura and Austin Powers. She may have been a few drinks in at this point but to her surprise, her aim had actually gotten better. Despite it still being early in the night, at the corner of her eye she saw some kind of dance off breaking out between the Mario Gang and the Power Rangers. Evidently the welcome shots went down well. Looking around she had to admit, Olivia had done a pretty good job in organizing it all and everyone had made a real effort.

“Drink Scary Spice!” yelled Ace Ventura as the ping pong ball ended up in her cup.

“It’s Ginger you idiot”, she retorted back pointing at the wig with her left hand, necking the drink with her right hand.

“Oh no I think it’s definitely scary with a temper like that.”

“Ah alright then Mr Ventura, let’s say loser has to break out the tequila.”

“Challenge accepted.”

To be honest Kat enjoyed this flirty banter, particularly as Ace wasn’t too bad to look at. Well the actual guy – James, wasn’t. Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura on the other hand gave her the creeps. Up until now Kat had given up on dating in London since her last Hinge date. Every guy she had met was either in his early 20’s just looking to party or way too intense.

“Regretting that challenge now, Kat?” Ace smugly asked, as the ball landed in her cup again.

10:32PM

Kat had gone to the loo with Cher aka Liv, to freshen up and have a girly catch up on how the party was going. Liv was delighted how well her canape’s had gone down and revealed that she had bought a secret stash of Champagne that she was saving for countdown. Kat was really going to miss her thoughtfulness. Olivia carefully reapplied her lipstick and doused herself in some more perfume. Kat on the other hand was staring at herself in the mirror with the sudden realization that she was very drunk. Now she had to do her best to try and appear sober otherwise she would never hear the end of getting drunk this early on in the night.

“Mmmm Moooet?” Kat mumbled whilst nearly stumbling out of her platform heels. “Sounds laaavley, my laaavley Liv Liv Liv Liv! Did you know how fun your name is to say, who knew?” Kat readjusted her wig and then very seriously looked at Olivia.

“Olivia, how come you never see elephants hiding in trees?”

“Er, come again Kat?” Liv let out a laugh.

“Just answer, it’s funny. I swear!”

“Ok, Kat. I don’t know, how come you never see elephants hiding in trees?”

Kat leaned foward and whispered, unaware of just how strong her breath stank of tequila whilst tapping her nose with her index finger, “Because they’re very, very good at it.” Kat erupted into a belly aching laughter.

“Yeah that’s not that funny Kat.”

“Aww what! I got it in my Christimas cracker this year!”

“Mmm okay, Kat.” Olivia responded unconvinced subtly placing a mint in Kat’s mouth. Ah, now she really was going to miss living here.

11:58PM

Kat had summoned the group to collect their party poppers whilst Sofia and Olivia handed out the glasses of champagne. Kat should’ve really been a rep in Ibiza, look how entertained everyone was she thought to herself.

11:59 PM

Kat scouted the room for Ace to see if he wanted a quick good luck kiss at midnight. But Britney Spears had already made her move. What a disaster that relationship would be.

12:00 AM


“3!

2!

1!

Happy New Year!” They all chanted with joy. Olivia and Sofia pulled Kat in close and klinked their glasses before getting ready to sing Auld Lang’s Syne.

2:00 AM (or there abouts)

Two miscellaneous hours had passed by with a lot of dancing and drinking. Kat was still standing, despite the amount of tequila she had drank. Technically Kat was sat not standing, in the living room with her heels kicked off which were now replaced with her cozy slippers she received for Christmas instead. Ah, the perks of hosting from home. She noticed a slightly tipsy Olivia already going around with a black bin liner collecting the empty bottles. Maybe she could employ Olivia on Friday nights to clean her new flat when she finally moved out to the country side? Surely she would be able to afford a huge house with acres of land and a maid, with all the money she would be saving not paying London rent. She was about to propose the idea to Olivia when Last Christmas came on and a foghorn type noise that sounded a lot like, “GEEOOORGEEE!!!” came out of Kat’s mouth instead. It was going to be the last time for a while she could listen to Christmas songs without being judged so she figured she could ask Olivia later.

2:01 AM

Austin Powers had put on “Despacito” in a desperate bid to impress Sofia. Kat was not happy. In fact she was so livid, she accidentally swiped his vodka and replenished her own alcohol stash in the kitchen.

3:30 AM

Kat was the last one awake out of her, Sofia and Olivia. By now there were only a few guests left: Princess Peach, Buzz Lightyear and Forrest Gump. They had sang the whole of Queen’s Best Hits Soundtrack, re-enacting Bohemian Rhaposody in perfect harmony (at least Kat thought so much through her tequila tinted goggles) and now they had turned to card games.

“Hey Kat”, murmured Buzz, “Ben is trying to get into TV, don’t you work as an agent?”

Kat may have slightly embellished her job a little. It couldn’t hurt she thought as most of these people were Olivia’s friends and all far too drunk to remember. Plus working in HR didn’t really have the pizzazz she wanted and she knew that 2020 would be the year she would break into the industry, so what’s the harm in a head start?

“Yesss darling”, she slurred in her best Joanna Lumely impression which really just sounded like a turtle having a stroke.

“Let me tell you all about how we do it in show biz!”

4:05 AM

Buzz definitely had bought her career advice and the story of how she had just scouted the next big thing who would be appearing in the Eastenders New Year’s Special. Luckily she had sensed that Buzz was too much of a snob to use his RADA education on a soap and Kat’s knowledge of the show was so advanced, she could practically go on Mastermind. Maybe she should enter The Chase this year? Heck, maybe she could present the chase! She typed “Chase – Bradley off” with a bunch of light bulb emojis into her phone notes, before she realized someone was talking to her. It was Buzz again. But this time it seemed like that last round of ring of fire had really taken a turn.

“I’ve been thinking all night about something and it’s really been bothering me.”

Oh no had she said something offensive? Was she caught out on her lie? Kat’s mind scanned the possibilities.

“What’s up Buzz?” She tried to say in her most sober and nonchalant tone. Buzz looked at her with a sad gaze and clasped both of Kat’s hands.

“What do you think is the morality behind killing slugs, because I’ve accidentally stepped on at least 3 tonight and I don’t know how to feel.”

“Right time to go to bed everyone!” She yawned in an exaggerated manner, turning all the lights on signalling it was definitely time to go home.


Wednesday 1st January 2020

07:45 AM

Kat shot out of bed to the sound of pots clanging and what sounded like the whole of Gloria Delgago-Pritchett’s family dancing in high heels in her kitchen. Ow! Her head was banging, her tongue felt like sandpaper and she was sure that whoever that was making that racket, they would soon be wishing they hadn’t crossed her. Tumbling out of bed still half asleep with yesterday’s make-up on, Kat stubbed her toe on the edge of her bed.

“Oh gaaaaaa, fuuu—!!” Kat inhaled deeply clutching her big toe whilst hopping on her right leg like a chicken. Although the superking size bed seemed like a good idea at the time of buying it three years ago, frankly Kat was surprised she had any toenails left at this point.

“Dehh -spahhh – cito…
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito…”

Wasn’t it an unspoken role that the week between Christmas and at least mid January, was meant to be spent in a state of permanent drunkness, not too sure what day of the week it was? And you only got out of bed at midday at the earliest, eating yesterday’s leftover pringles washed down with a Bucks Fizz for breakfast? And what was that smell wafting through the flat? Eggs? Today Kat was not feeling too polite, not on the account of her banging head.

“Olivia, what on earth? – “

She walked into the kitchen to see Olivia twisting her hips with Austin Power’s glasses on. Her and Sofia were both in their workout gear clearly having just returned from a run. Olivia couldn’t hold a tune but it was a hilarious impression of the rendition Sofia had received from Austin last night.

“Ok Google, volume up!” Olivia excitedly shouted at the speaker, “Deja que te diga cosas al oído…”

Sofia saved Liv from Kat’s wrath sneakily turning down the speaker and saying, “Alright girls, final breakfast together as a team!”

1st January and it meant it was time to say goodbye to her little London flat. Olivia’s sister was taking over Kat’s tenancy as she would be preparing to go home and really start her adult life. Olivia had cooked Eggs Benedict served with a strong cuppa before asking the dreaded million pound question.

“Right ladies what are your New Year resolutions for 2020 then?”

“Oh just wait a second, hair of the dog at least Liv!” Kat searched through the cupboards to see if there was any alcohol leftover. Her eyes lit up as she found a mysterious bottle of vodka in her cupboard. Where did that come from she wondered? “Bloody Mary anyone?”

Sofia began listing hers off which included learning to drive and to quit smoking. Olivia’s was to run the London marathon in under 4 hours, to travel to Australia and to take the first step in setting up her own fashion brand. Olivia was a big time Fashion buyer and micro influencer with a social media following of 65,000. Kat wondered just how many likes Olivia’s latest Instagram post from last night had racked up.

Kat? Well Kat started off with her biggest one, moving out and buying her own flat followed by the usual; exercise more, to grow her hair and be more spontaneous! Overall she just wanted to save more money to move out.

“Spontaneous eh, Kat? Are you going to dye your hair pink and present The Chase then?” What was Sofia on about? She had deja vu, but admitted she wouldn’t mind doing either of those things.

“Yes absolutely! It’s on the list. Here’s to The Chase and to 2020!” Sofia and Kat tapped their glasses in celebration, but Olivia remained quiet. Olivia was rarely quiet so this concerned Kat.

“I was meant to be going to China with work to source some fabrics in a few weeks, but have you seen this?” she asked.

“Some kind of flu going round in China?” She showed them an article a colleague from work sent her on her phone.

“Ah don’t worry about that! Not like it’s the Spanish influenza” Sofia said trying to cheer her up.

“Yes don’t worry Liv!” Kat agreed, “2020 is our year. You’ll have your successful fashion brand, Sof will practically be driving formula 1 and I’ll be in my posh flat soon enough. I’ll be throwing soirees and cooking you all breakfast.” To that they cheered and chatted some more on the events of last night, before taking a much needed nap. Kat needed to sober up before her brother arrived to pick her up and help him pack up the car. It was going to be so great hanging out with her little bro for a while. Just like old times. Only a few months and she would be sorted, she repeated in her head before slowly dozing off.

I hope you enjoyed reading this short story! If you did, make sure to comment and subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about. Feel free to check out the below too!

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Summer Body Skincare

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How Not Getting What You Want Can Be A Blessing

It’s not often I talk about how hard work and determination doesn’t always pay off. Confused? Bear with me. Although I make a daily conscious effort to stay motivated and driven, this attitude alone doesn’t solely guarantee you success. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning so far in my 20’s and I’ve recently began to appreciate just how not getting what you want, can at times, be a huge blessing.

Let me take you for a trip down memory lane, back to when I first graduated from University. After my long summer off relaxing and enjoying what was left of my “student lifestyle”, I decided that I was as ready as I would ever be, to try this thing called adulting. I mapped out a few career paths that potentially interested me and with my Psychology degree in hand, I made sure that I was proactive and applied for at least one job a day, if not more. Over the next couple of months, I was lucky enough to get a ton of interviews, and at one point I had 3 or 4 in the pipeline; I was on a roll! I thought it wouldn’t be long before job offers were thrown at me… and in a way I guess it wasn’t. After a month of job hunting I was offered a role in merchandising for a big fashion retailer that I loved. However, I really wasn’t prepared for not feeling excited at this news. As soon as I left the interview, I received a call and was made the job offer but my gut was telling me that the job wasn’t for me. I was torn because I didn’t want to reject it straight away as I knew it was hard enough to get interviews, let alone be offered a job this soon after graduating. A week soon passed and I had not yet heard back from the other interviews I attended. It came to the point where I had to give them an answer. I decided to listen to my instinct and not accept a job that my heart wasn’t fully set on and I would gamble on the possibility of being offered one of the others. Unfortunately the odds weren’t in my favour and I didn’t get any of the other jobs. I was back at square one.

“You are exactly where you need to be”

Feeling frustrated, stressed and anxious that I had made the wrong decision, I was angry and doubted myself. However I powered on through and (surprisingly) rejected more jobs. I battled an internal struggle with myself, as I knew my worth and didn’t want to accept internships or jobs in London, on a wage that would barely cover my travel purely for the sake of experience. Instead I worked temp jobs to keep me going and to build up as much “experience” as I could. Finally some 7 months later it all paid off. I was offered a job that suited my skill-set, interested me so much more and also paid a decent wage! Fast forward to the present day, I am now working for a leading fashion retailer where I funnily enough actually recruit for merchandisers. I am so relieved that the stars didn’t align for me back then the way I hoped, as the thought of doing such a number-centric role day in and day out, really isn’t my dream job. Truthfully in hindsight I was just desperate to be hired anywhere and I now know that I definitely wouldn’t have been happy in that role, despite how much I wanted it at the time.

I am now currently in my early-mid 20’s and the idea that, “You are exactly where you need to be” has helped to keep my quarter life crisis at bay. Living in an age where comparison to others is so prevalent as it seems like everyone has their life together on social media, it is so important to remember that the majority of us are in the same boat. To be quite honest with you, seven weeks into 2019, the majority of my plans for the year have mostly gone to pot. I’ve found myself in a mix of uncertain, anxious, frustrated and at times even scared feelings. This somewhat mirrors how I felt back when I turned down those early job offers, as my plans hadn’t fallen into place the way I hoped they would in my head. Yet, it’s times like these I try to remind myself how not getting what you want, really can be a blessing. I’m learning that we are not tested to show our weaknesses or what we haven’t achieved, but to show our strengths and what is possible instead – a lesson I will try to remember throughout the remainder of 2019.

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